Why Might a Gardener Cover a Garden With Plastic During the Spring?

Overview

According to the site Blue Horizon Farm, row covers are simple to use in any garden setting. Floating row covers made of plastic or spun polypropylene are lightweight and reusable, sturdy options for protecting plants. These covers can be placed over plants quickly, whether you're growing berries, fruits or vegetables or herbs. You can also place them over flowers and shrubs, as well as young trees.

Pests

Plastic covering is sometimes placed over plants to prevent invasion from pests. These pests may come in the form of insects, aphids or foraging animals, like raccoons. The covering will repel these pests, and are most often used during the beginning of the plant's life.

Frost

Plastic row covering helps protect from frost. Placing the cover over plants in the evenings when frost is due will help insulate the plants from the cold nighttime temperatures. The covers can be taken off the next morning, once the temperature has risen above freezing.

Wind

Plastic covering can protect plants from the wind, which is particularly lethal to young seedlings. If you know a wind storm is coming, place the plastic over the seedlings. Once the windstorm is over, remove the cover. During extreme wind storms, adult plants may also benefit from being protected with a plastic row cover.

Pets

Dogs and cats often try to dig in garden areas. They may also use the area as a litter box, if not deterred. A well-placed plastic cover can help prevent damage by pets. It is important to secure the cover by placing heavy objects around the bottom of the covering, such as bricks or large stones. This method of deterring pets from digging in the garden is especially important just after planting seeds, as well as when the seedlings are young.

Extended Seasons

Covers help to warm the soil in the garden areas more quickly during the early spring. They will also keep the soil warm longer during the late fall. This helps extend the growing season significantly and safely, allowing the gardener to plant warmer weather crops earlier. This method also allows for extra plantings later in the growing season, so the gardener can harvest more produce from a smaller area. This is, perhaps, one of the most important benefits of using plastic covers in the garden, as it extends the usefulness of the garden.

Keywords: garden cover reasons, row cover, plastic row cover

About this Author

Shannon Buck is a freelance writer residing in the small town of Milford, Maine. Her work has appeared on several sites including GreenandSave.com, where she writes The Green Mom column. She has written on many subjects, including home improvement, gardening, low-income living, writing and homeschooling.